Robert Hofler

Robert Hofler is a critic with The Wrap. This account has been auto-generated, and does not indicate that this person is an active member of Show-Score.com. That said, if you "follow" this member, you will automatically be updated whenever s/he writes a new review.

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Reviews (327)
The Wrap

"Regardless of who’s singing, as soon as the vocals start, the massive set (by Beowulf Boritt) changes shape to reflect hallucinatory projections (by 59 Productions) that visualize what the characters are now experiencing in their head; colors intensify and the physical world drops away. Lapine also directs, and he handles the many elements like a master general. Fortunately, nobody gets swept into the orchestra pit by Boritt’s big, moving set." Full Review

Kimberly Akimbo
Chelsea
The Wrap

"It’s still funny and quirky and very off-center, but the story of a rapidly aging 16-year-old girl and her deadbeat family has been grounded. No, not grounded in a high school sort of way. Jeanine Tesori’s music grounds the story in a way that gives the source material resonance, makes it more substantial and far more emotionally engaging." Full Review

The Wrap

"McClure is every bit as accomplished as Williams in playing an unemployed voice actor who’s able to jump in and out of characters without the benefit of wigs and makeup. Jerry Zaks directs with his usual stage mastery, and in the opening moments of “Mrs. Doubtfire,” he manages to set with breathtaking speed the story of a broken family and the estranged father’s solution for being with his kids. It’s the great gift of musical theater. What takes half an hour in a movie or play can be achieve... Full Review

Cullud Wattah
East Village
The Wrap

"Dickerson-Despenza is as gifted a storyteller as Kramer and Shange, and also a more conventional one. To drop yet another famous name into this review, “Cullud Wattah” is every bit as drum-tight in its plot as Arthur Miller’s “All My Sons."" Full Review

The Wrap

"It’s the musical that gets scarier...Steven Pasquale and Will Swenson are two of Broadway’s favorite leading men in musicals. In “Assassins,” they get to shuck off those Ken Doll roles to play, respectively, an elegant John Wilkes Booth and a loopy Charles Guiteau." Full Review

Morning Sun
Midtown W
The Wrap

"The first few moments of “Morning Sun” are a narrative jumble that tell us (“tell” being the operative word) a lot about Charley’s backstory, that is, the life of her parents...Neugebauer pulls off a directorial coup d’etat here that neatly deflates the hyperventilation about to burst this play apart." Full Review

The Wrap

"Playwright Keenan Scott II doesn’t take long...to settle into an extended scene set in a Brooklyn barbershop, where all seven men of this remarkable ensemble have gathered to talk and brainstorm. Until then, Scott has treated us to a few short set pieces that perform very much like the kinds of monologues actors write and perform in their acting classes." Full Review

Letters Of Suresh
Midtown W
The Wrap

"May Adrales’ direction is enhanced by Shawn Duan’s gorgeous projection design, which gives the production its only sense of motion. Adrales leaves Monsef adrift to play Suresh as if he were hyperactive and mentally challenged, even though he is a self-professed genius." Full Review

Six (Broadway)
Midtown W
The Wrap

"A breathtakingly irreverent moment in “Six” comes when the six wives get into an argument over who was the most abused and try to top each other with their respective number of miscarriages. Talk about defying political correctness!" Full Review

The Wrap

"If only Crudup or, better yet, Jake Gyllenhaal (because he can sing) were playing David Engleton in Cale’s new one-person autobiographical musical...He gives himself big arias in 'Alive,' and there’s a stark rawness on display that some may find theatrically authentic. It may remind others of seeing a ballet where nobody on stage has been to class in months...Cale is far more engaging as a writer and performer when he’s using his nightmares to create other characters, other situations." Full Review

A Strange Loop
Midtown W
The Wrap

"'A Strange Loop' is genuinely breathtaking because it forces you to gasp before you break out laughing...Have I mentioned that Jackson wrote the music, lyrics, and the book for 'Loop'? Usually, that three-hat trick in the musical theater world is the mark of death. Jackson wears all hats with fabulous style." Full Review

Long Lost
Midtown W
The Wrap

“The absolute flatness of Billy’s encounters with David in his office and then Jeremy in the family’s luxurious Park Avenue apartment is punctuated only by several bombshells, which go off like clockwork every 10 minutes. Rather than ramping up the drama, these revelations about illness, incarceration, infidelities and a double homicide expose the mechanics of the plot...Aucoin and Parisse render their respective characters with far more sympathy than they deserve.” Full Review

BLKS
Midtown W
The Wrap

"Gilbert and Fuller spend too little time together on stage. O’Hara’s fiercely kinetic direction clearly suits these two gifted actors whose gangbuster portrayals take no prisoners...Barnes deftly handles her characters’ sexual fluidity, but near the end of 'BLKS' she adds a few sentimental touches that even Neil Simon didn’t resort to in his 1960s heyday...Seeing the 100-minute 'BLKS' is to tour Brooklyn at night and wake-up wasted. But in a good way." Full Review

The Wrap

"In a tour de force performance, Murphy is at one moment dealing with his grief like a normal person and the next he’s wearing a big black hoodie and speaking into a small mic attached to the sleeve that miraculously turns his mild tenor into a booming, menacing bass...'Grief' is one of those that can’t sustain beyond 90 minutes because it exhausts...This isn’t a criticism of the play and its amazing production; it’s purely intentional on the part of Porter, Walsh, and Murphy." Full Review

Ink
Midtown W
The Wrap

“The unnecessary first act of ‘Ink’ will make you marvel at Orson Welles’ economy and wit...Welles tells the story quickly. Graham shows Lamb handpicking each staff member...Much more tiresome is Graham’s need to show how newspapers were printed...Goold’s flashy musical-comedy direction can’t disguise the fact that there’s no drama in the first act...Act 2 is an improvement because a story finally emerges...To use a newspaper term, ‘Ink’ is a puff piece.” Full Review

All My Sons
Midtown W
The Wrap

"Bening makes us feel the weight of her burden...She doesn’t quite match her gifted co-star’s ease of performance on stage...Jack O’Brien’s production means to give us a very naturalistic 'All My Sons.'...Which is another problem. The grass is a little too green, the wisteria too lavender...Chris and Ann don’t make a good couple, at least as awkwardly performed by Walker and Carpanini. The two actors don’t even physically look right together." Full Review

The Wrap

"Wolfe makes sure that we wallow in inspired nastiness for a delightful, unrelenting 90 minutes...Despite all the gags, this clown-turned-worker-turned-Fool is ultimately very poignant in his quest to save the world...We see the design of Mac’s comedy, but the actors and Wolfe’s direction make it part of the spectacle, along with all those erect dicks and very low fart jokes. The imagination at work here is awesome." Full Review

Burn This
Midtown W
The Wrap

“Mayer directs...and he takes a decidedly light, comic approach to the material, especially the character of Anna...What Russell can’t do is ground Wilson’s play in some reality that makes sense of Anna’s decision...Instead, Russell and Mayer have chosen to make a joke of the whole dated enterprise...Driver gives a towering performance...Pale’s tirades show Wilson in peak form, and Driver does them full justice." Full Review

The Wrap

“Poor Marilyn Monroe. What did she ever do to end up the object of such absurd debasement in Anne Carson’s ‘Norma Jeane Baker of Troy’...Never have I seen so many walk-outs in 90 minutes...Clark has written some bluesy music for Fleming to sing, and she sounds ravishing...Whishaw’s imitation of Capote is very convincing. Regarding his Marilyn, she can best be described as Tony Perkins in a blond wig near the end of ‘Psycho’...Mitchell directs the mass confusion on stage.” Full Review

The Wrap

“Nelson-Greenberg’s provocative new play...Mercurial subversion of our expectations lies at the core of Nelson-Greenberg’s anarchic humor, as well as Bordelon’s loopy direction of her talented cast...Chukwu, Keller and Long carry the office-jerk thing to absurd levels. It’s an act that could wear thin fast but doesn’t thanks to their light helium-induced charm...Nelson-Greenberg makes her NY debut with this wild comedy. Hers is an offbeat, novel, wonderful voice.” Full Review

Ain't No Mo'
East Village
The Wrap

“Amazing new play...Repeatedly, Cooper’s writing delivers sustained absurdist comedy that comes crashing down at scene’s end, only to pick back up again for yet another wild ride through bigoted modern America. This young playwright’s satire takes no prisoners...Walker-Webb’s direction makes repeated and awesome leaps, but he and Cooper are equally good at depicting life in between the extremes.” Full Review

White Noise
East Village
The Wrap

"The four characters aren’t so much characters as they are archetypes of race, class and privilege who level stinging barbs at one another...Four remarkable monologues interspersed throughout...Each monologue is a veritable essay on the subject of race in America, and yet each is as personal and heartrending...It’s appropriate to note that Parks writes great sketch comedy...These sketches float the first act of 'White Noise,' making it the fastest 90 minutes in recent theater history." Full Review

The Wrap

"The only word less appropriate than 'diva' for O’Hara would be 'shrew.' Her masterful rendition of 'So in Love' is so heartfelt that we may overlook her rather genteel take on the Bard, but maybe not...By the way, O’Hara is in great voice throughout and has never sounded more thrilling...Scott Ellis can be credited with keeping his two leads playing from the same slightly jaded Valentine’s Day poem. He wisely keeps the more manic comedy to the show’s secondary couple." Full Review

The Wrap

"Tori Sampson takes a West African fable and turns it into an all-American cartoon...Theatergoers expecting something edgy or provocative will be disappointed...The most fascinating aspect of 'Muhf–a' is how Sampson misleads us into thinking the play is about one character when it’s really about one of the other young women. That singular pleasure, however, can’t be savored until the evening is almost over. Until then, you have to deal with confusing plot twists." Full Review

Daddy
Midtown W
The Wrap

"Harris stacks 'Daddy' against one character, only to reverse or level the playing field in the next scene...Danya Taymor directs this magnificent hodgepodge of styles in a way that makes perfect sense even while we’re recovering from some absolutely startling new surprise. Taymor also has unerring taste in new playwrights." Full Review

Company (Broadway)
Midtown W
The Wrap

"The switch from male to female works, but more important is the light, sexy touch of Elliott’s direction and how it frees the musical from the year of its world premiere, 1970. This very rousing and arousing “Company” revival opened Thursday at Broadway’s Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre." Full Review

The Wrap

"Bushnell is something more insufferable: She is a whiny winner who flaunts White Female Privilege. It’s uncomfortable listening to Bushnell’s gripes about being a member of an oppressed majority group when her place-dropping runs the gamut from Aspen to Sag Harbor to Chateau Marmont." Full Review

Clyde's (Broadway)
Midtown W
The Wrap

"Maybe “best” should mean that actor or director who takes flawed or flimsy material and turns it into something worth watching. That’s the miracle director Kate Whoriskey performs with Lynn Nottage’s sketchy new play, “Clyde’s,” which opened Tuesday at Second Stage’s Helen Hayes Theater." Full Review

Medicine
Brooklyn
The Wrap

"Because it’s a Walsh play, all this zigzagging pop-culture nonsense is destined to climax in a cacophony of flashing lights (by Adam Silverman), ear-shattering sounds (by Helen Atkinson), drums-and-cymbal banging (by Sean Carpio) and incomprehensible screaming (by all three actors)." Full Review

Gnit
Brooklyn
The Wrap

"The first act of “Gnit” is crazy funny, and so it’s unexpected when Oliver Butler’s flippant direction turns dark with the death of Peter’s mother at the end of the first act. We’ve watched this woman and her son go at each other for over an hour; but now at the final moment, regardless of all the crap that’s gone down in their pitiful lives together, death breaks an elemental bond from which Peter will never recover. The final scene of act one is powerful, heart-wrenching theater." Full Review

The Wrap

"A tour de force...When a play holds your attention for more than three hours, the writer, with help from a gifted director, must be doing something right." Full Review

The Wrap

"Take away the acting tricks, the blocking that puts the agents eyeball to eyeball with Winner, the “Twilight Zone” sound effects, and we’re left with federal agents observing strict protocol that has as much to do with their own personal safety as Winner’s." Full Review

The Wrap

"The comedy keeps lurching into melodrama even before we get to the extended treacly denouement and those many endings." Full Review

The Wrap

"Danya Taymor’s direction alternately treats “Pass Over” as a light comedy and a horror movie." Full Review

Toni Stone
Midtown W
The Wrap

"Lydia R. Diamond has written a play that’s very sly, even magnificently off-center, in its presentation of the title character...MacKinnon avoids the trap of so many sports plays, attempting to re-create the suspense of a real game on stage. Camille A. Brown, who provided the wonderful (and Tony-nominated) choreography for another play, 'Choir Boy,' is equally kinetic in her work here. Together, she and MacKinnon give a semblance of the game." Full Review

The Wrap

"Lynn Nottage wrote the book for the new 'Bees' musical, and like Kidd before her, she’s a master of quick resolutions...'Bees,' the musical, needs to keep the heartaches and the horrors coming even faster than the novel and the movie did. How else can you squeeze 17 songs, plus four reprises, into two hours and 20 minutes?...Gold’s staging for 'Bees' is simultaneously bare and messy." Full Review

Dying City
Midtown W
The Wrap

"The defining light that Woodell’s performance throws on this soldier is just how contained some straight men feel they must be, how under wraps they keep their emotions — until something inside them explodes. It’s a trait that Woodell never reduces to a tic or a cliché…Winstead isn’t incompetent or uncomfortable on stage…What’s missing is any development in the character…The war references still resonate, while those regarding the terrorist attack on the city now seem forced.” Full Review

Passage
Soho/Tribeca
The Wrap

"Chen’s use of the letters X and Y gives him enormous freedom, and he uses it to powerful effect. That’s also true of the dozen lettered characters on stage...It’s a credit to Chen’s powers as a writer that each of these encounters immediately engages, and in under an hour, he establishes a wide panorama of a society under siege but still functioning...Much credit here goes to the very understated but immensely empathetic performances delivered by Powell and Moggie." Full Review

The Wrap

for a previous production "Brightman is a marvel by being blatantly gross. He manages to captivate even when his wink or grimace signals that the jokes are dead on arrival...Eddie Perfect’s score for 'Beetlejuice,' however, is hands down/slit your wrists the worst of the season...Alex Timbers directs Caruso to resemble Millie Perkins in 'The Diary of Anne Frank,' only slightly more sanctimonious...Leslie Kritzer does rise from the dead of this six-feet-under production." Full Review

Tootsie (NYC)
Midtown W
The Wrap

“Horn supplies a few one-liners that are every bit as funny as the movie’s zingers...This ‘Tootsie’ is also blessed with the awesome Broadway musical debut of Andy Grotelueschen...The show’s problems center on Michael Dorsey, both in and out of his Dorothy Michaels persona...Dorothy is every bit as brazen as when he auditioned as a man...Oddly, 'Tootsie' gives us a sneak peek at the coming cultural phenomenon, white female privilege." Full Review

The Wrap

"Sorry, but Cat lacks the verbal skills of a good writer, not to mention the ballsiness of even a mediocre reporter...Instead of elevating Feiffer’s character, these New Yorker references undermine Feiffer’s writing, which is often breezy and amusing in a dark rom-com kind of way...Feiffer cleverly navigates being both shocked and turned on by her date. She overdoes the mugging, but as an actress she’s very good at playing a young East Coast version of Jennifer Aniston." Full Review

The Wrap

"A clear-eyed, incisive look at one of the most fascinating marriages ever...Metcalf is alternately steely, frantic, no-nonsense, desperate and steadfast — and she makes every one of those transitions while looking simultaneously backward and forward. She’s cautious. She’s deliberate. She’s beyond smart...Joe Mantello directs...He’s the minimalist director who fills the stage with the playwrights’ words and actors’ performances. That’s an especially spectacular achievement here." Full Review

Socrates
East Village
The Wrap

“Nelson, Hughes, Pask, Micoleau and even Zuber are all masters of the theater who know how to grab our attention — even for those who never read Plato...’Socrates’ settles into the expected series of debates...Nelson gives us the most famous suicide. It’s an extended moment in the theater, brilliantly acted in a way that places it outside time and yet opens a window to the very distant past. We witness a death that changed everything. You will want to be there.” Full Review

The Cradle Will Rock
East Village
The Wrap

“Blitzstein isn’t subtle and neither is Doyle...Doyle always seems to capture one truly memorable performance...’Cradle’ doesn’t provide such a star turn, but Pulver mesmerizes...Her scenes with Yazbeck and Eakeley emit a palpable heat. Eakeley and the triple-cast Cooper display great singing voices, and it’s a treat to hear them unamplified. Another effective touch are the four actors who rotate playing the piano.” Full Review

The Wrap

"It’s a tour de force of direction and writing and Devlin’s set rarely rests under Jon Clark’s always dramatic lighting...I learned next to nothing from 'The Lehman Trilogy' about why Lehman Bros. went belly up. But I wasn’t bored. Nor was I riveted... While Beale and Godley are fine playing the adult male Lehmans, their impersonations of women, children and rednecks are sometimes cringe-worthy...Miles delivers everything with the same leaden portentousness." Full Review

The Wrap

for a previous production "Derrick Baskin’s impersonation of Otis Williams defines the word 'innocuous,' even though late in the musical he is accused of being a control freak...If only Ruffin/Sykes were narrating 'Ain’t Too Proud.' For one thing, we’d be spared the cliched build-up to the group’s success and the endless parade of funerals at the end...McAnuff’s direction of 'Ain’t Too Proud' gives us both the alluring razzle-dazzle and the underlying nightly grind of touring." Full Review

Nantucket Sleigh Ride
Upper W Side
The Wrap

"Larroquette is a magnificent narrator...While attempting to follow the first act’s ever-twisting plot, however, one’s mind may drift to incidental problems with the play and its production. For starters, Jerry Zaks’ direction emphasizes the farcical situations, but most of the eye-popping performances are merely manic and not remotely amusing." Full Review

The Mother
Chelsea
The Wrap

“For 90 minutes or so, we experience what it is to have our mind completely unravel. It’s not unlike the vicarious thrill you get watching a 1970s disaster movie...The difference is, Zeller takes us on a journey far more frightening because it’s far more common and no one survives...Huppert brings her signature icy hauteur to the role...It’s a showy performance, but it allows the actress to cut through her own steeliness, grab us by the hand and explore together a mother’s madness.” Full Review

The Wrap

"Unfortunately, The Squip fails to prevent Jeremy from making the most mundane rhymes when it comes to singing Joe Iconis’ repetitive score...Iconis’ musical score can best be described the way fast-food chains sometimes advertise their processed chicken. It’s crispy. No matter that crispy is neither a flavor nor a tune...These overwrought people on stage recall the street performers in nearby Times Square." Full Review

Superhero
Midtown W
The Wrap

"Pinkham’s glowering presence and delayed timing make this unemployed bus driver alternately creepy and funny, off-putting and compelling, nerdy and appealing...Pinkham is on stage for so much of 'Superhero' that we can ignore the far less interesting Charlotte and Simon...One superhero looks pretty much like another. Only Pinkham is in a class by himself." Full Review